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Reality spending

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Do you know what kind of life you can really afford?

We all "grow up" with an idea of what we want or should have.  We work hard, we went to school, we deserve a certain lifestyle, don't we?  Look around. We live in Vancouver, British Columbia. It's beautiful and the world knows it. So it's expensive. That means if you choose to live here, you also might be choosing to live a different life than you would have imagined. Maybe you won't own your own home. Maybe that's ok. 
But wait? Haven't we all been told it's better to pay your own mortgage rather than someone else's?  And isn't real estate a great investment in the future?  Bruce Sellery says too many people consider their home purchase as their retirement plan. He's the author of Moolala: why smart people do dumb things with their money (and what you can do about it). I met up with him for some great advice on how to align your expectations with your reality.

Before you think of major investments, you should (in this order):
*Make sure you earn more than you spend
*Pay off your credit card debt (an automatic 19% return!)
*Pay yourself 10% of your earnings
* RRSP's, Tax Free Savings accounts
* Investment performance (only after you've done all of the above).
And the best advice is to prioritize: know what you want  your money so you end up with the life you want and the life you can afford. It's all about conscious spending.
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